The news recently has been filled with reports of NBA player Jason Collins’ acknowledgement that he is a homosexual. His announcement was bolstered by wide-ranging media support, and even a congratulatory, supportive call from President Obama.
It was no surprise that the main-stream media stigmatized all opposing views.
Mike Wallace, a receiver for the Miami Dolphins simply asked why anyone would want to “mess with other guys” when there are so many beautiful women in the world. Wallace did not make his comments from any biblical perspective, yet he was promptly labeled “homophobic.” ESPN felt compelled to apologize for the “radical” views of commentator Chris Broussard. Boussard answered a question about whether society was ready for such an announcement. He explained that while society was ready, Christians, who hold that homosexuality is a sin, would still be in opposition to the lifestyle. While he was not angry or even in opposition to Collins right to live as a homosexual, he explained, “I’m a Christian. I don’t agree with homosexuality. I think it’s a sin, as I think all sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is sin.” His comments were not harsh, and, in context, were non-inflammatory. His view, however, is so politically incorrect that ESPN apologized.
What should our response be to the intolerance from such a tolerant loving society? Paul’s protégé in the Pastoral Epistles was a young man named Timothy. Timothy had been raised in a God-fearing home and was converted to Christianity, yet, the culture he lived in held similar challenges to what we face. He had been exposed to the Scriptures from childhood and was called to full time ministry. Paul took the time to explain to Timothy that perilous times would come (II Tim. 3: 1-7) and that he had to be ready to respond. Paul’s counsel was not to immerse himself in sin or study sociology, but rather to “continue” in what he had learned.
Paul reminded Timothy that he had access to a book that was special — different from every other book in his library. This book was “inspired.” It was “God-breathed.” This book had to be his constant source for what is right (“doctrine”), what is wrong (“reproof”), how to get it right (“correction”), and how to keep it right (“instruction”). Paul continued his exhortation to his young friend by telling him in II Tim. 4:2 to “preach” that book. Preach that book and nothing outside the parameters of what it teaches.
So, how do Christians respond to the events of the past week?
- Maintain our resolve — the ideas of the media and society, no matter how verbose they become, are still in opposition to the Scripture. Don’t let the rabble around you shake your faith. That is one reason we need preaching and a commitment to a well-grounded church family. You are not alone! Be encouraged and be an encourager.
- Become fluent with what the Scripture says about the topic. Whether it is homosexuality, abortion, marriage, or some other subject, you need to know what God says. Homosexuality is clearly outside the bounds of what God intends. A healthy view of the sexual relationship is discussed in Prov. 5:15-21. God plans for the marriage relationship between a man and a woman to be pleasurable, consistent, and monogamous. As Chris Broussard rightly noted, any physical relationship outside of marriage is sin. Romans 1 goes on to explain that homosexuality is especially destructive because it is “unnatural” (Rom. 1:26). Other references are replete (Genesis 19, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 18:29, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-32, I Cor. 6:9-11, I Timothy 1:9-10).
- Don’t be surprised by what is happening. God has already alerted us to the propensity of the human heart toward evil, and he has told us that things will get worse not better.
- Remember that the ultimate solution is not legislating morality (although governments have that responsibility – think of murder, rape, or theft), it is changing hearts. That can only be done as we bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Lord willing, we will be privileged to see a revival in our country. Remember, however, that revival will not come if we surrender our position. Joining the “other side” will not win them to ours.